Cantonese Grammar

The Cantonese grammar allows you to manipulate the vocabulary to obtain multiple forms of a word. The grammatical rules below are the most important in Cantonese and help connect words or shape the structure. We start with the prepositions:

And:   [] Audio Under: 下面  [haa5 min6  ] Audio
Before: 之前  [zi1 cin4] Audio After:   [hau6  ] Audio
Inside: 入面  [jap6 min6  ] Audio Outside: 外面  [ngoi6 min6  ] Audio
With: 一同  [jat1 tung4] Audio But: 但是  [daan6 si6] Audio
For:   [wai4 ] Audio From:   [jau4 ] Audio
To:   [heoi2  ] Audio In:   [zoi6 ] Audio


Questions and Adverbs

To ask questions, use the following:

What?: 什麼  [sam6 maa1  ] Audio Who?: 誰?  [seoi4  ] Audio
How?: 怎樣  [zam2 joeng6] Audio Why?: 為什麼  [wai4 sam6 maa1 ] Audio
Where?: 在哪裡  [zoi6 naa1 lei5 ] Audio

Some of the most important time adverbs:

Never: 永不  [wing5 bat1  ] Audio Rarely: 很少  [han2 siu2  ] Audio
Sometimes: 有時  [jau5 si4 ] Audio Usually: 通常  [tung1 soeng4  ] Audio
Always: 經常  [ging1 soeng4] Audio Very: 更加  [ang1 gaa1 ] Audio


Most commonly used pronouns in Cantonese:

I:   [ngo5 ] Audio You:   [nei5] Audio
He:   [taa1] Audio She:   [ji1] Audio
We: 我們  [ngo5 mun4] Audio They: 他們  [taa1 mun4] Audio

To express the possession of something [possessive form]:

My: 我的  [ngo5 di1 ] Audio Your: 你的  [ nei5 di1  ] Audio
His: 他的  [taa1 di1 ] Audio Her: 她的  [ji1 di1] Audio
Our: 我們的  [ngo5 mun4 di1] Audio Their: 他們的  [taa1 mun4 di1  ] Audio

Grammar in a sentence

Some random verbs to show how it's being used:

I speak English: 我會講英文  [ngo5 kui2 gong2 jing1 man4 ] Audio
You speak French: 你會講法文  [nei5 kui2 gong2 faat3 man4 ] Audio
He speaks German: 他會講德文  [taa1 kui2 gong2 dak1 man4 ] Audio
She speaks Italian: 她會講意大利文  [ji1 kui2 gong2 ji3 daai6 lei6 man4 ] Audio
I visited France: 我去過法國  [ngo5 heoi2 gwo1 faat3 gwok3 ] Audio
I will drink milk: 我將會飲牛奶  [ngo5 zoeng1 kui2 jam2 ngau4 naai1 ] Audio


Some extra grammatical structures:

I understand you: 我明白你  [ngo5 ming4 baak6 nei5  ] Audio
I don't understand you: 我不明白你  [ngo5 bat1 ming4 baak6 nei5 ] Audio
I don't speak French: 我不會說法文  [ngo5 bat1 kui2 jyut6 faat3 man4] Audio
This is my house: 這是我的房子  [ze2 si6 ngo5 di1 fong2 zi2  ] Audio
That restaurant is far: 那間餐廳很遠  [na6 gaan1 caan1 teng1 han2 jyun5  ] Audio
No problem: 無問題  [mou4 man6 tai4] Audio

The above Cantonese grammar can provide tools to use in coordination with the Cantonese vocabulary to obtain some popular Cantonese phrases.

Cantonese Phrases

Cantonese Vocabulary


Did you know? Grammar can help you increase your vocabulary dramatically. Grammar is like a tool which helps you manipulate words in a sentence by changing the shape and location of a word to create something new out of the old one.